Sunday, April 4, 2010
Waiting for Her Resurrection
Last year, on the Easter day, quite unexpectedly I chanced upon three girls whom I knew from my college days. We all had left college almost twenty years back.
You may wonder why I still call them girls. To tell you the truth they are all forty years old. I, being couple of years older than them, used to be in a senior class in college. But I had this strange friendship with three of them.
Now in hindsight I can say that my friendship was based on mutual admiration. I was not particularly handsome. But they were considerably beautiful and used to be potential head-turners.
The mutual admiration amongst us was based on our interest in poetry. I used to be known as a poet within a very small circle of students and friends. But during those days having a small circle of admirers itself was a great thing. Generally, those guys who were active in students politics, theatre groups and so on had this luck to have admirers around them.
Poetry, though they say, holds a lot of power to move people, in fact does very little in people’s lives. But poetry does things to people, when they strongly feel for words and ideas expressed through words.
And as you know, words are very powerful, when used in the right contexts. But to be in the right context, one should be prepared with a sort of enhanced awareness; awareness about oneself, about people around him or about the physical contexts in which one finds oneself.
As young, budding and aspiring poets, I could say, we four were aware of ourselves and people around us. We couldn’t have avoided the context of our times, which was comparatively less threatening politically, though it was quite pressing economically.
Such contexts are good for the flourishing of romantic poems. You can look into the eyes of your admirer whom you secretly adore as your muse and can spend endless hours entertaining her with rhyming words.
These three girls, now in their forties, used to write poems and show me their works almost thrice in a week. We met in a coffee shop near the college and discussed the poems. Being elder to them and having a bit more popularity as a poet than that they had for their good looks, they took my words quite seriously.
As days passed by, I started deriving a strange kind of pleasure by ripping off the poems of one of those girls. My criticism on her works was so strong that it sent her to the brink of tears. The other two girls often wondered why I singled her out for my scathing criticism.
Psychologically speaking, it was my strategy to find a special place in her mind. The image of your tormentor lingers on in your memory than the image of your benefactor. I knew there was something called Stockholm syndrome; the captive develops a soft corner for the captor. I was trying that out and to tell you the truth it became a successful method.
To put things in a nutshell, we became lovers.
Circumstances were such that we could not lead a life together. But we had created several memorable moments together so that we would never forget each other or the precious moments of our union.
As I told you, it was not a politically threatening time. But my love affair with this girl brought politics into my life; and the introduction was a very harsh one.
Till then, I was the hunter and she, the hunted, in the jungle of words. Now I became the hunted, and the hunters were many whom we call now a days, ‘political thugs’.
I went underground. I did not know what happened to those girls.
Eighteen years later, we met last year on the Easter day in front of a Church, where we all had gone to pray.
Don’t ask me how we all happened to be in the same church at the same time. In stories such things happen.
My ex-beloved looked very detached and indifferent to things around her. The other two girls/women looked quite enthusiastic about the meeting.
From the conversation we had amongst us, I came to know that all of them had settled in the US with their husbands. I was happy to see them all. One of them had become an economics analyst and the others had become teachers there.
There is always something disappointing about re-unions, whether it is accidental or pre-planned. We expect too much in these meetings. Most often we are unaware of the time that had flown by. People change as per the demands of their lives. You may not be able to re-live the past the way once it used to be. However, what is important in such meetings is the momentary surprise of seeing people whom you had known closely once, in their new garbs, roles and attitudes.
We were happy with that surprise element in our meeting. But something was getting frozen in between. I couldn’t discern whether it was time, passion or the erstwhile admiration for each other.
Two girls, who were not my girlfriends, were so happy because they thought it was a very special moment in which the long lost friends found each other.
“It is quite befitting to an Easter day,” said the finance analyst, “for it means resurrection from death and oblivion.”
“True,” I said, “you have not lost your poetry,”
“Perhaps, that is what keeps us going,” the other girl/woman said.
My former girl friend kept silence.
“Why did you say that?” I asked.
“Life is not a picture framed within the golden frames,” said the economics expert.
“Nor is it like a game in Farmville, every day giving us surprises,” said the teacher.
“Quite true,” I said. I was expecting my ex-flame to say something.
She was constantly trying to avert her eyes from my gaze. Some kind of discomfort was growing within her.
“Tell me, do you remember the circumstances of my disappearance from your life?” I asked finally.
“How did you assume that you were in my life?” she asked coldly.
I was more surprised than confused. The other two girls/women were also looking at me with a strange expression on their faces.
“What are you talking? Who are you talking to?” the finance analyst asked me.
“I am talking to her, my….” I pointed towards my ex-girl friend.
My friends together put their hands on my shoulder. It was for the first time that I noticed their dresses. They were wearing embroidered white saris, very sober looking and they were holding white flowers in their hands.
“Hey, what happened? Why are you looking so serious? Come on....,” I said.
“She is no more. Two days back, on Good Friday, she left us. She was suffering from lung cancer,” teacher said.
“What?” I screamed. “I saw her with you…right now..here…she was coming out of this church with you,” I said.
They were silent and both of them were now crying.
We met once again at the same café where we used to discuss our poems. They recounted the happy times in my girl friend’s life.
A few weeks later they left for the US and I never met them after that except for a few emails exchanged between us.
Today is Easter again. I am waiting for her to resurrect from her oblivion and death.
I just want to ask her why she thought that I was not in her life at all. May be that one answer would make me happy again.
I am sure she would resurrect; if not today, one day.